Enhancing knowledge and overcoming current barriers to tackle water scarcity in Southern Europe through innovation, entrepreneurship, education and communication

The Cross-KIC project on “Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe” is bringing together 30 start-ups from all over Europe to provide solutions to this issue. In the next three months, the start-ups will receive training and advice and the best ones will receive an economical award. The program will end with a final competition between the start-ups in Spain.

According to the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation), the food production consumes 70% of the world’s freshwater resources. This data is of particular concern to the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), which has launched an initiative to find solutions to water scarcity, with a focus on Southern Europe. The project is organised by EIT Food, in collaboration with EIT RawMaterials, EIT Climate, EIT Manufacturing, and the support of Athena technology centre and BioAzul consulting.

Three campuses organised in Spain, Italy and Greece will bring together a total of 30 start-ups that will provide innovative ideas on how to solve water scarcity, a problem that currently affects a third of Europe, but that is expected to become a major issue for the entire region in just a few decades. The selected start-ups will receive personalised training, advice and mentoring for three months. The work of the start-ups will conclude with a final competition between them, the InnoWise Challenge Lab, that, in the case of Spain, will take place in Malaga on the 24 September 2020, during the Smart-Agrifood congress. Similar competitions will take place in Italy and Greece. The two best start-ups of each final competition will win prizes of EUR 10 000 for the first and EUR 5 000 for the second places. These events will be held face-to-face whenever the situation of the COVID-19 allows it.